News – 25-8 – 25-8 gets elderly people in over 350 residential care centres using WhatsApp!

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25-8 gets elderly people in over 350 residential care centres using WhatsApp!

During this lockdown period many older people in the over 800 residential care centres in Flanders had no visual contact with their family and friends. Although video calling offers a solution for some residents, most of the 70,000 residents in residential care centres are not digitally savvy enough to easily deal with a smartphone or tablet. The consequence: when the elderly want to engage in video calling, a patient care assistant has to remain on hand at all times to help this person - something that in practical terms is very difficult.

"The residential care centres we work with asked us whether we could come up with an answer for this,´ says Tom Messiaen, managing partner of 25-8, a company that offers communication solutions to more than 500 Belgian healthcare organisations. “We put our heads together with our IT partner Unmatched and quickly hit on a solution.”

 

25-8 took a care telephone (a large-format telephone with traditional receiver and video screen), stripped out all its software, and then installed a single program on it: WhatsApp. Whoever wants to use the device simply has to put the plug into the socket and connect to the internet. Then the device starts up and one can begin video calling with WhatsApp. And if desired an external screen can be connected to the device as well, so that the elderly can see their family and friends on their television screen.

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Messiaen: “The receiver, display on television and extra loud volume make this device more suitable for seniors than a normal tablet or smartphone. So patient care assistants don’t have to accompany the elderly nearly as much during these video calls."

 

Another advantage of the device: photos, film clips and vocal messages can be sent in and then played afterwards for the resident.

 

Positive

Last week, all of the residential care centres that 25-8 works with were asked whether they might wish to use such a device. After a bit of explanation about how it functions and the advantages it offers, virtually every residential care centre responded with a resounding “yes”!

 

Messiaen: “Since we’ve been distributing the device amongst the residential care centres we have received only positive reactions. The elderly, family and friends are happy that they once again have visual contact, and the care providers are happy that they need to offer far less accompaniment during these video calls."

The residential care centres use the device in two ways. Some install it on a mobile unit and let the device circulate to the rooms of the residents. Others have set up a separate dedicated room where the elderly can communicate in turn via WhatsApp with family and friends. After each use, the device (and the public room) is disinfected and the next resident can make a video call.

 

Relief

In the meantime, 25-8 has delivered most of the 350 care telephones that it had purchased to the residential care centres, which can use the WhatsApp care phones entirely free of charge.

 

“Together with the residential care centres and their residents we are now fighting against an invisible enemy. If in this battle we can offer a bit of relief to the nurses and the residents can once again come into visual contact with their family and friends, then the cost center is the last thing we’re thinking about. It’s simply something that we want to do for care centre residents,” Tom Messiaen concludes.

 

Click here for more film clips, photos and reactions!

During this lockdown period many older people in the over 800 residential care centres in Flanders had no visual contact with their family  ...

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25-8 gets elderly people in over 350 residential care centres using WhatsApp!

During this lockdown period many older people in the over 800 residential care centres in Flanders had no visual contact with their family and friends. Although video calling offers a solution for some residents, most of the 70,000 residents in residential care centres are not digitally savvy enough to easily deal with a smartphone or tablet. The consequence: when the elderly want to engage in video calling, a patient care assistant has to remain on hand at all times to help this person - something that in practical terms is very difficult.

"The residential care centres we work with asked us whether we could come up with an answer for this,´ says Tom Messiaen, managing partner of 25-8, a company that offers communication solutions to more than 500 Belgian healthcare organisations. “We put our heads together with our IT partner Unmatched and quickly hit on a solution.”

 

25-8 took a care telephone (a large-format telephone with traditional receiver and video screen), stripped out all its software, and then installed a single program on it: WhatsApp. Whoever wants to use the device simply has to put the plug into the socket and connect to the internet. Then the device starts up and one can begin video calling with WhatsApp. And if desired an external screen can be connected to the device as well, so that the elderly can see their family and friends on their television screen.

Messiaen: “The receiver, display on television and extra loud volume make this device more suitable for seniors than a normal tablet or smartphone. So patient care assistants don’t have to accompany the elderly nearly as much during these video calls."

 

Another advantage of the device: photos, film clips and vocal messages can be sent in and then played afterwards for the resident.

 

Positive

Last week, all of the residential care centres that 25-8 works with were asked whether they might wish to use such a device. After a bit of explanation about how it functions and the advantages it offers, virtually every residential care centre responded with a resounding “yes”!

 

Messiaen: “Since we’ve been distributing the device amongst the residential care centres we have received only positive reactions. The elderly, family and friends are happy that they once again have visual contact, and the care providers are happy that they need to offer far less accompaniment during these video calls."

Extra-foto.jpg

The residential care centres use the device in two ways. Some install it on a mobile unit and let the device circulate to the rooms of the residents. Others have set up a separate dedicated room where the elderly can communicate in turn via WhatsApp with family and friends. After each use, the device (and the public room) is disinfected and the next resident can make a video call.

 

Relief

In the meantime, 25-8 has delivered most of the 350 care telephones that it had purchased to the residential care centres, which can use the WhatsApp care phones entirely free of charge.

 

“Together with the residential care centres and their residents we are now fighting against an invisible enemy. If in this battle we can offer a bit of relief to the nurses and the residents can once again come into visual contact with their family and friends, then the cost center is the last thing we’re thinking about. It’s simply something that we want to do for care centre residents,” Tom Messiaen concludes.

 

Click here for more film clips, photos and reactions!

During this lockdown period many older people in the over 800 residential care centres in Flanders had no visual contact with their family  ...

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